According To Plan

planner

I am a big planner. I like calendars and planners and organization. I like knowing what I have to do on any given day and knowing what is coming in the future. Without this organization, I could not manage all the clients I see and other things I am involved in very well at all.

Pandemics are not friendly to planners. In fact, pandemics cause planners to feel very out of control and frustrated.

Planners during a pandemic often think they can carry on as they always have. School is starting soon and those with school age children who are planners are busily mapping out how the daily lives of all the members of their families will be managed.

Plugging activities and appointments into their master plan for the next few weeks in order to be sure they are organized and that all the family needs are met. There is just one problem – the pandemic can change everything you have written down in less than a second.

All it takes is for a school board or sports body to say that what we did yesterday is not at all what we are going to do today. Or even worse, what we did this morning, is not what we will do this afternoon.

All the planning is now erased. Wiped away with a few words by someone else. We are left feeling out of control and unprepared. How will we navigate this without a plan?

Living in 2020, there is truly only one plan that can work. One where you have an overview of what is available to plan for right this moment and a backup plan in case that changes. We have to be able to flex at a moment’s notice knowing that our only control is in this absolute second of time and what we know right now.

This concept is so hard for planners. It is hard for everyone these days as no one enjoys lack of control whether they be planners or not. But for planners it is so much more difficult.

I have begun writing in my calendars and planners with pencil and not pen or markers. This way, when things change, and they absolutely one million percent will, I can apply a fat pink eraser and readjust. This may happen several times a day, but it can be done.

When erasing the previous plan, I meditate on the thoughts of this was not mine to control, I can let this go, what do I need in order to meet the new or replaced piece of the plan, the new piece may also change, someone else is making these decisions, what do I know right now.

Incorporating into a meditation routine daily the ideas of being in control of only yourself and only in this moment can help alleviate the overall feeling of being out of control. Everything outside of this moment and yourself is out of your control. And breathe with it, abide with it.

I feel your struggle fellow planners. I know how uncomfortable you feel. But with a changed mindset and a good eraser, we can get through this constant flow of change.

Anything you cannot control is teaching you how to let go.

Until next time,
Deborah

Control Yourself

In all of the universe there is only one thing any of us can control – ourselves. Our circle of control resides inside our skin bag and there alone. Any other belief that we can control anything else is a lie we tell ourselves to attempt to either make things easier or justify our actions.

Most of our lives are spent in the false belief that we can control other people, events, or emotions. We spend so much of our time and energy focused on how we can alter how other people behave or feel, change things that have happened or alter things that will happen. We rarely take the time to realize that our circle of control is again only that which is within ourselves. The belief that we can shape other people into what we want them to be is one of the main causes of our internal struggle that leads to anger, depression, anxiety, and frustration.

When the urge to control things outside of ourselves takes over, we must confront it with the acceptance that we cannot control anything but ourselves and our own reactions. We cannot change anyone else. We cannot change how they feel or how they behave. We can only control our reactions to what they do. Also remembering that nothing anyone does or says is about us – not taking anything personally.

It can be very difficult to master this letting go of control. Humans as a species are genetically wired to take control of any environment, dominate it, shape it to their needs, however we cannot control as much as we would like to believe. It can be very hard to let go of this idea of control and focus on only what we can do. We let our emotions drive us. We love someone, even when it is not good for us at times, and we want to change them so we can keep loving them, but they won’t change. We end up in a constant battle of knowing we cannot succeed and banging our head on the wall continually trying to make it into what we want. This only causes us more suffering, more frustration.

Control yourself. Two words. It sounds easy enough but it is in fact one of the hardest things to do. It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes practice to let go of the belief that we can control everything and everyone around us. If we can, we can minimize or even eliminate much of the pain and suffering we cause ourselves.

Control yourself – your emotions, your reactions.
Never take anything personally – nothing other people do or say is about you.
Let go of control – everything and everyone else outside of yourself.

Until next time,
Deborah

If you are feeling that you need help learning how to control yourself and let go of control of others, you can make an appointment for a FREE initial consultation by calling 406-413-9904 or email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com